With the airline industry finally returning to pre-pandemic traffic levels, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for private flights despite the pilot and flight crew shortage that is affecting the industry as a whole. Unlike commercial pilots, charter pilots do not have a set work schedule and work according to their client’s schedules, requiring them to be very flexible and accommodating to change.
Despite a pandemic-induced pilot and flight crew shortage, Eurocontrol reports consistent business aviation traffic above pre-pandemic levels, rising as much as 7% in January.
According to the Aerviva Aviation Consultancy, the rise in business for charter flights has induced a “heightened demand” for private pilots and crew.
“With the entire aviation industry currently grappling with flight crew shortage, private and business aviation markets are also prompted to attract more professionals,” says Aerviva Director Alison Dsouza. “Predicting even further into the future, Boeing has reported that by 2041, the global demand for new pilots will reach 602,000 and for new cabin crew 899,000, and it is safe to say that a large part of these professionals will be working for private and business aviation sectors.”
The private aviation sector could require at least 58,000 pilots by 2029, according to Dsouza.
“Commercial flight crews typically have more stability in their schedules, with monthly rosters and a general idea of when and where they will be flying,” she says. “In contrast, the private flight crews must work according to their clients’ schedules, requiring them to be highly adaptable and flexible when dealing with changes in itineraries.”
Dsouza adds: “The pilot and crew shortage is not going anywhere.”